For whatever reason, you find yourself struggling with an overwhelming amount of debt. You can no longer meet your financial obligations, and creditors are calling. Perhaps you are exploring the possibility of filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but you have concerns about how it could affect your life.

While there is no way around the fact that filing for bankruptcy will affect your life, you should experience more positive benefits than negative ones. Even so, you may want more information regarding future issues that may arise regarding potential obstacles bankruptcy could create when it comes to current and future housing and employment options.

The law provides you with some protections

You didn’t set out to file bankruptcy. You expected to meet your financial obligations, but circumstances in your life prevented it. Lawmakers understood this and provided you with some protections. For instance, governmental agencies cannot deny you anything or discriminate against you due to your bankruptcy.

However, private entities do have more “wiggle room” when it comes to your bankruptcy filing. You could be denied housing or employment based on your bankruptcy, but only for a good reason. If you do receive a denial, the company must provide you with a valid, legal reason.

Does a bankruptcy affect housing options?

Even though a future landlord may consider your bankruptcy, it most likely will not represent the only criteria considered. More often than not, property owners look more at your employment history and current income when making a decision. You could take the following steps to increase your chances of securing the housing you want:

  • Make sure you let the landlord know about your rental history. If you’ve never missed a rent payment, it goes a long way toward making him or her feel comfortable that you can do the same in a new place.
  • Let the landlord know upfront about your bankruptcy and the circumstances that led to it. If the property owner knows that the situation was out of your control and you are taking steps to rebuild your finances, it could help.
  • Providing references from previous landlords could go a long way toward addressing any concerns or hesitations your prospective landlord may have.

Everyone deserves a second chance, which is one of the primary aims of bankruptcy. You now have a fresh start without the debt burden that led to your filing. A future landlord may only need to know that you no longer have financial issues, a good income and a good rental history in order to overcome any doubts.

Does a bankruptcy affect employment options?

Your current employer cannot take any adverse action against you for filing bankruptcy. If your employer attempts to fire you, demote you, reduce your salary or take any other such action against you solely based on the fact that you sought bankruptcy relief, you have cause for legal action. If you are looking for new employment, you should know that government agencies cannot deny you a position based on your filing.

Private employers are another matter. Private entities could deny you certain employment opportunities such as those that involve managing money if you file for bankruptcy. However, most employers do not consider it a hindrance to your employment. If they do, they must provide you with “just cause” for the decision. They cannot simply discriminate against you because you took advantage of this debt relief option.

The bottom line

Filing for bankruptcy is your right. The system was set up to help those with overwhelming debt obtain a fresh financial start. You should not endure any punishment because of it when seeking housing or employment. If you want to discuss what effects your filing may have on your future, it would be in your best interests to discuss your concerns with an experienced South Carolina bankruptcy attorney.